Parking-garage costs go through the roof

Driving to the office can be a costly transportation option - especially when it comes to the day-to-day parking routine.

According to a new study, the price of garaging a car in metropolian America surged 14 percent this year - a 33 percent jump compared with 1996.

Colliers International, a global commercial real estate firm, found that parking rates in major US cities are increasing faster than the annual rate of inflation. The rising expense is not just a commuter concern: Businesses that bear the brunt of their employees' parking costs are feeling the pinch too, according to Colliers.

The study found that, nationwide, the average monthly rate for a spot in an underground or covered parking garage is $157.

The five most expensive spots: New York Midtown at $520, followed by New York Downtown ($400), Boston ($375), San Francisco ($325), and Chicago ($300). If you're looking for a bargain, head to Bakersfield, Calif., where parking runs about $17.50 a month, according to the report.

Colliers found the cost of parking in the United States compared favorably with the monthly fees in major European cities. In London, for example, drivers fork over about $585 a month.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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